Trying to squeeze a little blog post in for you all tonight – I an very busy indeed, so I am sorry I haven’t had time to post. Today I have a book review for you and I am so excited to talk about this novel. I took a reading break for about two weeks prior to reading the book because I was starting to pressure myself into reading more and more when I just didn’t have the time. But I am so happy I dedicated myself to this horrific novel and I hope you enjoy me talking about it.
Book Review: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks published in 1984.
‘Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I’d disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim. That’s my score to date. Three. I haven’t killed anybody for years, and don’t intend to ever again. It was just a stage I was going through’
The Wasp Factory is a novel that invades the unconventional and repulsive mind of 16 year old Frank. It’s gruesome, sometimes in a gory way and sometimes in a shameful way and even though Frank is a psychopathic murderer, there is a unity between him and the reader. This is probably because the novel is written from his perspective – we reason with him, we understand his strange mind entangled within the forebodings of The Wasp Factory. He seems so casual towards the way he tortures animals etc. that we almost seem at ease with it, in the nastiest way possible.
Although Frank’s issues are never the focus of the novel. As we invade the boys mind Eric, his psychopathic brother, is at the front of it. Eric has escaped from secure psychiatric unit/prison and is on the run. I empathize with Eric, I almost fall in love with him for all his intelligence and tragedy. And if you read this book, you will think, ALEX HOW COULD YOU EVER. But in every character in this novel, every tiny little character there is a beautiful sadness that almost brought me to tears.
The book reaches its ‘climax’ when Eric is in the town and reeks havoc everywhere. Lots happen, and even though this a book where the ‘plot’ doesn’t really matter, I’ll leave this section be.
I say climax, every time Eric calls I almost have a heart attack. I love him, but I feel stalked, as if I am his prey. I feel scared. Only few writers can do that.
Towards the end of the book there is a very strange revelation. Something which almost seems out of place but then beautiful within the novel. This information makes this book revolutionary for me and it was revolutionary from the start. But it brings such an interesting perspective on the novel, that almost gives a peaceful ending.
I feel like I can’t praise this disgusting novel enough. For it’s dark twisted humor, explicit language, challenging themes and appreciation for the true faults in Man I must say this is one of my favourite books of all time. And for an avid reader, it is very difficult to make the list. Although, I would not say this book was for everyone. It is a great transition into really dark, intelligent literature because it is simply so significant in every way but I know some people will just not enjoy this novel because it’s quite simply, grotesque. Oh grotesque, but such a work of art.
Anyway, I embarrassed myself with that last line and you all probably think I am psychopathic and plotting to kill. Just read the first few pages and see what you think, it’s definitely worth a try.
Also, any Christmas Q&A questions would be most appreciated in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading,